Saturday, April 6, 2019

Imagining Equality

​Interpreting History,​

The Delphic Oracle Was Their Davos, P​a​rt 4, Michael Hudson:
America’s military buildup, its anti-environmental policy and global wars are part of the same symbiotic strategy. The reason why America will not be part of a real effort to mitigate global warming is that its policy is still based on grabbing the oil resources of the Near East, Venezuela, and everywhere else that it can. Also, the oil industry is the most tax-exempt and politically powerful sector. If it also happens to be the primary cause of global warming, that is viewed as just collateral damage to America’s attempt to control the world by controlling the oil supply. In that sense the environmental impasse is a byproduct of American imperialism.
JS:​ ​What’s hopeful in the United States right now? What is a possible good outcome?
MH:​ ​The precondition would be for people to realize that there is an alternative. Starting with wiping out of student debts, they can realize that the overall debt overhead can be wiped out without hurting the economy — and indeed, rescuing it from the financial rentier class inasmuch as all debts on the liabilities side of the balance sheet have their counterpart on the asset side as the savings of today’s financial oligarchy, which is doing to the U.S. economy what Rome’s Senate did to the ancient world.
JS: How can people proceed from here?
MH: Understanding must come first. Once you have to have a sense of history, you realize that there is an alternative. You also see what happens when a creditor oligarchy gets strong enough to prevent any public power from writing down debts and to prevent attempts to tax it.
You have to do to America today what the Republicans did after the Civil War: You have to have a new university curriculum dealing with economic history, the history of economic thought and the real world’s long-term development.
JS: And what would be the premise for such economic history?
MH:​ ​The starting point is to realize that civilization began in the ancient Near East, and made a turn to oppose a strong public regulatory sector in Classical Greece and Rome. The long-term tension is the eternal fight by the oligarchy of creditors and large land owners to reduce the rest of society to serfdom, and to oppose strong rulers empowered to act in the economy’s long-term interest by creating checks against this polarization.

​Paul Craig Roberts wonders where we are all going...
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was happy to see World War II because he understood that it would leave Britain bankrupt and without an empire.  Roosevelt understood that the gain would be America’s, because the US would take over the reserve currency role.  The reason this is important is that the reserve currency country can pay its bills by printing money.  Thus, the government has no budget constraints.  For a country as indebted as America, to lose this role would be a crushing blow.  It is this blow that Washington faces as a result of its idiotic policy of sanctions and disrespect of international law.
And there is another blow. Just as the Roman Empire fell to invaders who crossed the frontiers of the empire, so is Washington’s empire falling.  Europe, the crown jewel of the empire, is now overrun with millions of unassimilable peoples to the extent that Europe is no longer European. The President of the US has so far been powerless to defend the borders of the United States.  Indeed, the Democratic Party and the presstitute media are totally opposed to any defense of American borders.  Why does a government unwilling to defend its borders spend $1,000 billion annually on defense?
The American Neoconservative Zionists, who have controlled US foreign policy in Israel’s interest since the Clinton regime, continue to operate as if we still live in an unipolar world.  For some reason the National Security Advisor to President Trump has poor sources of information.  He speaks as if he rules the world, but even Washington’s pathetic European vassals did not go along with Trump’s gift of the Syrian Golan Heights to Israel. 
As for moral authority, after, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yeman, Ukraine, Honduras, and now Venezuela, all moral authority has vacated the West.

Even Arch Financial Capitalist Ray Dalio is preaching reform now...
Ray Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund.
In a new essay, Dalio wrote that capitalism is failing the majority of Americans and has to be reformed because concentrated and restrained wealth does not benefit the overall economy and destabilizes society.
Dalio called for leadership that declares inequality a national emergency and addresses it with steps such as increased taxes on the wealthy.

Oh, the rest of the top 0.01% won't allow their structural financial advantages to be threatened...
The IRS’ new approach to taking on the superwealthy has been stymied. The wealthy’s lobbyists immediately pushed to defang the new team. And soon after the group was formed, Republicans in Congress began slashing the agency’s budget. As a result, the team didn’t receive the resources it was promised. Thousands of IRS employees left from every corner of the agency, especially ones with expertise in complex audits, the kinds of specialists the agency hoped would staff the new elite unit. The agency had planned to assign 242 examiners to the group by 2012, according to a report by the IRS’ inspector general. But by 2014, it had only 96 auditors. By last year, the number had fallen to 58. The wealth squad never came close to having the impact its proponents envisaged. As Robert Gardner, a 39-year veteran of the IRS who often interacted with the team as a top official at the agency’s tax whistleblower office, put it, “From the minute it went live, it was dead on arrival.”
Angela Merkel hints at compromise on Irish border trade, the major regulatory block to Brexit.
 Merkel said the stories moved her. “I lived behind the Iron Curtain, so I know only too well what it means once borders vanish … what I have heard here will encourage me to explore ways and means to continue the peaceful co-existence.”
Speaking at a joint press conference with Varadkar, the chancellor said Germany and the EU would consider an extension request to help the UK avoid a no-deal departure.
“We need to be patient and understanding of the predicament that they are in. But of course, any further extension must require and must have a credible and realistic way forward.”
She said she hoped Theresa May would be able to table a proposal by next Wednesday at a special European Council meeting. “We want to stand together as 27. Until the very last hour – I can say this from the German side – we will do everything in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit.”

​France, Spain and Belgium are "ready" for no-deal-Brexit this coming week.​

Unhealthy diets are responsible for 11m preventable deaths globally per year, more even than smoking tobacco, according to a major study.
But the biggest problem is not the junk we eat but the nutritious food we don’t eat, say researchers, calling for a global shift in policy to promote vegetables, fruit, nuts and legumes.
While sugar and trans-fats are harmful, more deaths are caused by the absence of healthy foods in our diet, the study found.

​It looks like cellphone radiation causes dementia. 
Oh well... Forget about it.

Cyber Consumer

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